Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Measurment Of True Greatness From The Lips Of Jesus

From the beginning of time, men have labored, sacrificed, and cheated, lied and killed in a never ending struggle to surpass. succeed, exceed, and increase in power, possessions, position, wealth and fame. Cain killed Abel, in a fit of jealousy, because he thought himself less than his brother. Kings, warriors, politicians and sociopaths have sought power, wealth and fame in order to have more, be more, and know more than everyone else. Some even seek power, wealth and fame in a kind of reverse approach to fulfill their burning ambition by publicly defending the poor, and attacking the wealthy, as educators, politicians, or millionaire movie stars.... and even as Preachers. Strange antics indeed in the feverish climb up the ladder of recognition and greatness in the eyes of other men an women...but what of God's approval? How does He reckon greatness?

Even the Apostles were absorbed with "greatness" in spiritual matters. "Greatness" in Christ's Church and in the Kingdom Of God as well....
"At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Matt.18:1.

Jesus answered the question by taking a little child up into his lap and said ....
"Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matt.18:4. So, learning from the lips of Jesus, himself, "humility" reflects greatness. Something few rich, famous and powerful people in men's estimation, have much of.... ordinarily. I truly believe that there is no great spirituality where there is no great humility. In fact, "Jesus humility" is not caused by poverty, starvation, inferiority or weakness, but something more divine. Jesus, as God in the flesh, owns all the of the universe. He owns all of the food, all of the power, all of the strength, all of the fame ... and yet, He was humble and saw true humility in that little child. Also notice that his words, "humble himself" indicate that we are personally responsible for our humility or the lack of it.

Jesus is our example of humility. Paul says , in Phil.2:8. "...He humbled himself...." by taking on a human body and becoming a man so he could sacrifice that body on the cross. Jesus said of himself, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly ...." Matt.11:29.  Some would say He violated humility when, at Passover, He angrily drove the greedy Money Changers and sellers out of God's holy Temple with a whip, in John 2:13-16, or
when he called the Pharisees whitewashed graves full of rotting dead men's bones. But being humble does not negate boldness, holy anger or the necessity of speaking the truth.

Another key to true greatness is revealed by Jesus in Matt.23:11-12. "But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." 
So true greatness is wrapped up in humble service to God and to those "Created in the image and likeness of God". That is the mind of God.

Whether God keeps a list of "lesser/superior greatness" or not, He knows precisely where each of us is in relation to His own judgement of our faithfulness, callings, obedience and sincerity. He sees and knows the extent and level of each of our humility and service. Though all Christians are equally saved, by grace, we are not all equal in our service to God and awards at the Judgement Seat Of Christ. But each of millions of Christians has a unique place on God's faithfulness scale which only He can know.... thankfully.
"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." Matt.16:27.

The measure of true greatness, among men, is neither determined by themselves nor by other men. Who would have said of John the Baptist, when he was in prison, questioning his own faith, disgraced in the eyes of man and then beheaded, that he was the greatest man ever born prior to that time? And yet, that is exactly what Jesus said of him."Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist...." Matt.11:11. (Relates to the O.T.)

Obviously Jesus evaluates men from a totally different perspective than do other men .... even Christians. The difference is that we mortals only know what we see, hear or imagine to be true. We cannot know what is in the mind and heart of another person .... But God does, and only He can judge with complete accuracy.

Nobody has any idea who may be the greatest Christian who ever lived, except God Himself. It will probably be some unknown, humble, loving, faithful mother or a hard working, reliable, witness for Jesus who gave the nearest to 100% of himself  or herself to God, which means ... also to needy people.

True greatness, in God's eyes is not only unknown to fleshly minds but totally incomprehensible to human understanding.  His judgement alone is perfect. If there is a divine ranking from greatest to least great Christians, it is totally in the Omniscient judgement of God alone. I, for one, am content to leave it there, where it is secure for eternity.... even if I am the last Christian on the "humility and service" list.... that will be exactly where I should to be.

 "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." 2 Cor.10:12.